In a tragic incident, 63 children died in past five days at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh, after the supply of oxygen cylinders at the hospital was disrupted.
Reports state Pushpa Sales, the agency responsible for the supply of oxygen to the hospital, halted supplies due to non-payment of dues. This alone lead to the death of 33 children in the past 48 hours.
The incident that occurred on Friday came just days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's visit to BRD hospital to review its functioning.
Hospital employees allege that they had written a letter to the chief medical officer warning him about the stock of liquid oxygen. In the letter, they said that the oxygen supply was "dangerously low and would not last the night". But the authorities paid no heed and no action was taken.
The government denied that the deaths occurred due to lack of oxygen. A statement issued by the state Information Department claimed that "some TV channels as misleading" people about the incident.
Promising strict action, state Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "Whoever is found guilty in the tragic and painful incident at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur will certainly face stringent action". The government has ordered a magisterial probe into this matter.
The Opposition attacked the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government for the incident. Congress asserted that the chief minister and health minister Siddarth Nath Singh should resign and take "moral responsibility" for the tragedy.
The incident has highlighted issues in the medical infrastructure of the state.